[Date Prev] [Date Next] [Thread Prev] [Thread Next]

Yogic Sadhan 1/3

Jul 29, 1996 09:39 AM
by Maxim Osinovsky

The text perhaps is rather rare. I believe it was never copyrighted and
never reprinted after the WWII.

The text is preceded by an OCLC record that shows the book IS available
in at least two major university libraries in this country -- Chicago and

Here are the editorial techniques used in this posting:

1. What's offered below is an unaltered and unabridged text of the book.
No attempt is made to make the terminology used uniform, to improve it,
to make it more familiar, etc. All Sanskrit terms used are explained in the
Glossary at the end of the text.

2. The only diacritics in the text are carets over long vowels in Sanskrit
terms; in this publication these  are placed before the vowels, e.g.: ^a, 

3. Italicized phrases are placed between the asterisks, *......*

4. Page numbers of the original are indicated in square brackets, like this:
[1]. Roman pagination in the Glossary at the end of the text is given in
curles, like this: (iii); these are preserved, so that the added page numbers
in this text file look like this: [(iii)].

5. All comments and other additions to the text are also enclosed in
square brackets, [.....].


Relevant OCLC record:

* * * * * * * * * * * * * Full Record Display * * * * * * * * * * * * 

SEARCH: ti:yogic sadhan
Record  1 of    1________________________________(Page  1 of  1)
|ACCESSION: 26390505
|AUTHOR: Ghose, Aurobindo, 1872-1950.
|TITLE: Yogic sadhan
|EDITION: [3d ed.]
|PLACE: Calcutta
|PUBLISHER: Arya Publishing House
|YEAR: 1923
|FORMAT: [2], 71 p. 18 cm.

* * * * * * * * * * * * Library Holdings Display * * * * * * * * * * 

 CGU   UNIV OF CHICAGO                         Y
 HLS   HARVARD UNIV                            Y

[Front cover and back cover are missing from my photocopy]

[Title page:]

               YOGIC SADHAN
                EDITED BY
             THE UTTARA YOGI

     [A small swastika with arms extended counterclockwise]


[Reverse side of the title page:

                    Ratikanta Nag,   
                Arya Publishing House,
             College St. Market, Calcutta.

                  Fourth Impression
                     January, 1933.

                  Printer: P. C. Ray,
                  SRI GOURANGA PRESS,
                  71/1, Mirzapur St., Calcutta.


[                       YOGIC SADHAN


    The proper course of the Sadhan is just the opposite of the thing most
people do and you have also done. People begin with the body and the
prana, go on to the chitta and the manas, and finish up with the buddhi
and the will. The real course is to start with the will and finish with the
body. There is no need of Asana, [2] Pranayama, Kumbhaka,
Chittasuddhi, or anything else preparatory or preliminary if one starts with
the will. That was what Sri Ramakrishna came to show so far as Yoga is
concerned. 'Do the Shakti Upasana first,' he said, 'get Shakti and she will
give you Sat.' Will and Shakti are the first means necessary to the Yogin.
That was why he said always, "Remember you are Brahman," and he
gave that as a central message to Swami Vivekananda. You are Ishwara.
If you choose, you can be suddha, siddha and everything else, or, if you
choose, you can be just the opposite. The first necessity is to believe in
yourself, the second in God and the third to believe in Kali; for these
things make [3] up the world. Educate the Will first, through the Will
educate the Jnanam, through the Jnanam purify the Chitta, control the
Prana and calm the Manas. Through all these instruments immortalise the
body. That is the real yoga, the Mahapantha, that is the true and only
Tantra. The Vedanta starts with Buddhi, the Tantra with Shakti. 

     What the Will is you have heard. It is Shakti, it is not Vasana, it is
not Cheshta. Vasana and Cheshta are the negation of will. If you have
desire, that means you doubt the power of your Will. Brahman has no
desire. He wills and all things happen according to his Will. If you have
Cheshta, that means you doubt your Will. Only those who feel or think 
[4] they are not strong, struggle and labour to produce an effect. Brahman
has no cheshta. He wills and His Will spontaneously produces its effect.
But it produces it in time, space and causality. To demand a result now
here and under given conditions is Ajnanam. The time, space and
causality of every event and its development have been fixed ages ago by
yourself and Parameswara, when the Kalpa began. It is ignorance to
struggle and try to alter what you have yourself decreed. Care not about
time, space or conditions, but will, and leave the result to God who is
your omnipotent, omnipresent and omniscient self. You are the individual
God and He is the universal God. Nothing but God exists--Ekam [5]
ekadwitiyam. Therefore Will implies Samata, absence of Vasana and
Cheshta. Absence of Vasana and Cheshta implies knowledge. Until you
have knowledge, you can never be safe against the return of Vasana and

     The question is how to start. The Shakti is in you. Let her work and
assist her by taking the right attitude. You are the Sakshi, Anumanta,
Bhokta, and Bharta. As Anumanta, give the command, as Sakshi watch
her work out the result, as Bhokta enjoy the result and as Bharta help her
by maintaining the Adhar. Do not ruin it by tamasic udasinata or rajasic
revolt. Be sure your Will can never fail to act. You are the Jnata: receive
all knowledge that presents [6] itself to you. Adopt the attitude I have
described here and apply it to every individual act of the sadhana or of
life. You have nothing else to do. Kali will do the rest. Be not troubled,
be not anxious, be not in haste, you have all eternity before you, why be
in haste? Only do not be tamasic or idly waste your time.


    I shall speak to-day of the Shakti or Will,  since that is the foundation
of Yoga. The Shakti is situated in the Sahasradala just above the crown of
the head and from that seat of activity it works. Below it at the top of the
brain is the higher Buddhi and below that, occupying the middle [7] level
of the brain, is the reason or lower buddhi, and below that, at the bottom
of the brain, is the organ of communication with the Manas. We may call
this organ the understanding. Knowledge, reason and understanding are
the three parts of the brain. These functions are in the subtle body, but
they are connected with the corresponding portions of the material brain.

      In the chest just above the heart is the Manas, that is the organ of
sensation with its five subordinate Indriyas. Below the Manas, from the
heart to midway between the heart and the navel, is the Chitta. From that
point up to the navel and below it is the psychic or sukshma prana. All
these are in the sukshma deha but connected [8] at these points with the
sthula deha. In the sthula deha itself two functions are situated, the
physical prana or the nervous system and the annam or the material body.

    Now the will is the organ of the Ishwara or living master of the body.
It works through all these functions, through the Buddhi for thought and
knowledge, through the Manas for sensations, through the Chitta for
emotions and through the Prana for enjoyment. When it functions
perfectly, working in each organ according to the capacities of the organ,
then the work of the Shakti becomec perfect and infallible. But there are
two causes of weakness, error and failure. First, the confusion of the
organs. If the Prana interferes in [9] sensation, emotion and thought, then
a man becomes anisha, the slave of the Prana, that is to say, of the
desires. If the Chitta interferes with sensation and thought, then the
sensations and thoughts are falsified by the emotions and their
corresponding wishes. For instance if love interferes with the Buddhi, the
man becomes blind to the truth about the person he loves, he is unable to
distinguish between right and wrong, kartavya and akartavya, where the
person is concerned. He becomes to a greater or lesser extent the slave of
the emotions, love, anger, hatred, pity, revenge &c. So, if the Manas
interferes with the reason, the man mistakes his sensations for just ideas
or true arguments. He judges by [10] what he sees or hears instead of
judging what he sees or hears. If again the reason, imagination, memory
and logic interfere with knowledge, the man is debarred from higher
knowledge and wanders in the interminable circle of probabilities and
possibilities. Finally, if even the Buddhi interferes with the Will, then the
man is limited by the power of his limited knowledge, instead of moving
nearer to Omnipotence. In brief, if a machine or instrument is used for a
work for which it is unfit, for which it was not made or originally
adapted, then it either cannot do that work at all or it does it badly;
*dharma-sankara is created*. Now what I have described is the ordinary
state of men before they gain knowledge. It is all dharma-[11]sankara,
confusion of functions, bad administration and incompetent and ignorant
government. The Will, the true minister, is rendered a puppet of the lower
officials who work each for his own selfish ends, interfering with and
hampering each other or dishonestly playing into each other's hands, for
their own benefit and to the detriment of the Ishwara, the master. He
ceases to be Ishwara, he becomes Anisha, the puppet and dupe of his

    Why does he allow it? Because of Ajnanam. He does not know, he
does not realise what the ministers and officials and their million and one
hangers-on are doing with him. What is this Ajnanam? It is inability to
recognise his own true nature, position [12] and authority. He began by
being deeply interested in a small portion of his royal activity, the body.
He thought "That is my kingdom." He became the tool of his bodily
functions. So with the nervous, the sensational, the emotional and the
mental, he identifies himself with each of them. He forgets that he is
different from them and much greater and stronger. What he must do is to
resume the reins of power, to remember that he is Ishwara, the king, the
master and God himself. He must on this understanding remember that he
is all-powerful. He has a mighty minister, the Will. Let him support and
direct the Will and the Will will introduce order into the government and
compel the officials each to do [13] obediently and perfectly his own
duty. Not of course all at once. It will take time. The officials have
become so much used to confused work and misgovernment that at first
they will not be willing to work properly and, secondly, even when they
wish, they will find it difficult. They hardly know even how to begin. For
instance, when you begin to use your will, what is likely to happen? First
you will try to use it through the Prana, through desire, wish, hope, or you
will use it through the Chitta, with emotion, eagerness and expectation, or
you will use it through the Manas using Cheshta, struggle, effort, as if
you were physically wrestling with the thing you want to control; or you
will use it through the Buddhi, trying to [14] dominate the subject of your
interest by thought, by thinking "Let this be", "Let that happen" etc. All
these methods are used by Yogins to recover the power of the Will. The
Hatha-yogin uses the Prana and the body, the Raja-yogin the heart, Manas
and Buddhi, but the best method is none of these. Even the last of them is
a second-best means and must entail struggle, failure and frequent
disappointment. The Will is only perfect in its action when it works apart
from all these, straight on the subject from the sahasradala, without effort,
without emotion and eagerness and without desire. *Each function to itself
and Will is its own function*. It always obeys the Ishwara but it acts [15]
in itself and by itself. It uses the rest, it must not be used by them.

    It uses the Buddhi for knowledge, not for command; it uses the Manas
for sensation, not for either command or knowledge; it uses the heart for
emotion, not for sensation, knowledge or command; it uses the Prana for
enjoyment, not for any other function; it uses the body for motion and
action, not as a thing that can limit or determine either knowledge,
feeling, sensation, power or enjoyment. Therefore it must keep itself apart
and command all these things as a thing separate from all of them. These
are merely a yantra, a machine, the Purusha is the yantri or master of the
machine, the Will is the electricity or motor-power.

    [16] This is the right knowledge. How to use it I shall tell you
afterwards. That is a matter of practice, not of mere instruction. The man
who has dhairyam, calm steadfastness, even in a small degree, can
gradually accustom himself to the mastery of his machine by the Will.
But he must first know: he must know the machine, he must know the
motor-power,  he must know himself. The knowledge need not be perfect
in order to begin, but the elementary knowledge at least he must have.
That is what I am trying to give you. I am explaining to you the different
parts of the machine, their nature and functions, the nature of the Will and
the nature of the Ishwara.

[17]                            III

    The Will when it begins to act, will be hampered by the Swabhava;
therefore until you are able to act on the Swabhava, you will not, should
not bring your Will to bear upon life. In other words while you are a
sadhak of the Shakti marga, be a sadhak only; when you have got Siddhi
of the Will, then first use the Siddhi to get perfection of the adhar, and
when you have got perfection of the adhar, then use the siddha adhar for
Karma, for life.

     The Swabhava opposes the perfect action of the Will. Why? Because
the nature of humanity is imperfect, only partly evolved, asiddha, and
being in all its dharmas asiddha, the [18] tamasic force of habit, tamasi
dhriti, makes it resist any attempt to make it siddha.  Humanity is
evolving. Yoga is a means of carrying that evolution forward with great 
and victorious rapidity.  But the imperfect Swabhava says, "I do not wish
to be perfect, I am accustomed to imperfection and find it easy and
comfortable."  First, then, the Will seizes hold of the Swabhava and
removes the obstacles in the way of its own perfect development and
    As I have said, it first gets rid of the old samskaras of impossibility,
the samskara, the ajnanam that I am man, not God, limited, not illimitable,
helpless, not omnipotent.  The  Will has first to say, "I am omnipotent,
that which the Purusha commands, [19] I can act".  For the Will is the
Shakti in action, and there is only one Shakti, Kali herself, who is God
manifesting as Divine Energy.

    Next the Will seizes the adhar and makes it shuddha in order that the
Will may itself be shuddha.  I have explained that if there is confusion
and disorder among the functions, then the Will cannot act omnipotently. 
Therefore you must first develop Jnanam and by Jnanam effect the
shuddhi of the adhar.  When the adhar becomes shuddha, the Will being
entirely free from wrong samskaras and wrong action, is what I call
shuddha.  It works  perfectly.  Working perfectly it makes the adhar
siddha, that is the adhar rids itself of all doshas, deficiencies and
weak[20]nesses and works perfectly.  It becomes a perfect instrument for
the Purushottama, the Purusha and Shakti to carry on their Lila. 

    Knowledge, therefore, Jnanam is the next stage to be considered.  But
before I come to that, let me finish about the obstacles in the Swabhava.
There are not only the wrong Samskaras and the ashuddhi of the adhar,
but the general nature of things has certain tendencies or laws in it which
oppose the development of the Yoga as well as certain tendencies which
help the development of the Yoga. There are three laws which oppose--
the law of persistence, the law of resistance and the law of recurrence:
there are three laws which assist--the law of gradual processes, [21] the
law of concentrated processes and the law of involved processes.

     The law of persistence is this, that a rule, habit or tendency once
established has a right to survive, a natural unwillingness to be changed or
annulled. The longer it has been established, the longer it takes to root
out. If a man has been yielding to the shad ripus for many lives without
any serious effort to dominate them or purify himself, then he cannot by
mere wish or a mere rapid effort get rid of them and become pure and
calm. They refuse to be so cavalierly treated. They say "You have given
us rights in this adhar, and we persist." Still more hard to deal with are
those dharmas of the body which men call the laws of physical nature. 

     [22] But the Will is omnipotent and if patiently, calmly and heroically
exercised, will prevail. For the Will, I repeat, is--Kali herself. Therefore 
in the end it establishes by its actions new rules, habits or tendencies 
which fight with and gradually overcome the old. What then happens is that the
old, though put down, weakened and no loner [longer?] a real part of the
nature, resist eviction from the adhar. They are supported by an army of
forces or spiritual beings who surround you and live upon your
experiences and enjoyments. This law of resistance marks the second
period of the Yoga and, unless the Will has already become siddha and
the adhar shuddha, is very trying and troublesome to the sadhak. For there
seems [23] to be no end to the capacity of resistance.

     Here again the Will is bound to triumph, if it is supported by faith or
knowledge. Even then the evicted habits and tendencies strive continually
to re-enter the system and recover their lost seats of power and
enjoyment. This is called recurrence. In proportion as the Will is siddha
and the Adhar shuddha, the recurrence becomes weaker and less frequent
or, when it comes, less prolonged. But in an impure adhar, or with an
imperfect Will, the recurrence is often as prolonged and troublesome as
the resistance.

     On the other hand there are the three favourable laws. When a new
habit or tendency is once established, [24] it is the law that it shall
develop towards strength and perfection. So long as it is struggling to
establish itself, the Yogin may at any time become bhrashta, that is he
may from error, weakness or impatience give up the struggle. That is the
only fall for the Yogin. Failure, temporary defeat, is not bhramsa, so long
as he refuses to give up the struggle. But once the right tendency is
established, no man can destroy it, until it has enjoyed supremacy and its

     Still at first, while the Will is comparatively weak or unpractised, the
progress must be slow. In proportion as the perfection of the Will brings
purity of the Adhar, the progress becomes rapid. Everything in this world
is done by a process; a [25] process means a series of actions leading to a
particular result by certain recognised stages. These stages may be passed
through slowly or swiftly, but so long as the law of gradual processes
obtains, all the stages must be successively and consciously passed
through. You have so many milestones to pass; but you may pass them
walking, in a carriage, in a railway train, but pass them you must. Still by
the growing strength of the Will, you can replace slow process by swift

     Then a time comes when Kali begins to transcend the ordinary human
limits and becomes no longer the Shakti of a man, but the Shakti of God
in man. It is then that gradual processes are replaced by con[26]centrated
processes. It is as if, instead of travelling from milestone to milestone you
could leap from the first milestone to the third and so on to your journey's
end. In other words the process remains the same but some of the stages
seem to be  dispensed with. In reality they are passed over so lightly as to
escape notice and occupy little time. Therefore it is called a concentrated
or contracted process.

     Lastly, when the man himself becomes God, either in a part of his
actions or in the whole, then the law of concentrated processes gives place
to the involved processes, when no process at all seems to be used, when
the result follows the action instantaneously, inevitably and miraculously.
[27] In reality there is no miracle, the process is used but so rapidly, with
such a sovereign ease, that all the stages become involved or hidden in
what seems a moment's action.

     To most men it is enough, if they can reach the second stage; it is
only the Avatar or the great Vibhuti who can reach the third.

     Therefore do not be discouraged by any failure or delaay. It is purely
a question of force and purity of the Will. By purity I mean freedom from
desire, from effort, from misplacement. It is best to begin by
concentrating effort on the self-purification of the Will, towards which the
first necessity is passivity of desire for the fruit, the second the 
of the Chitta and the Buddhi, while the will is being [28] applied; the
third the development of self-knowledge in the use of the Will. It will be
found that by this process of educating the Will, *^atm^anam ^atman^a*,
purity of the adhar will also be automatically prepared and knowledge will
begin to develop and act.

[Back to Top]

Theosophy World: Dedicated to the Theosophical Philosophy and its Practical Application